The Googles tell us that ‘synapse’ is defined as “a junction between two nerve cells, consisting of a minute gap across which impulses pass by diffusion of a neurotransmitter.” This, however, is one of the rare instances where The Googles are wrong, because what Synapse actually is (according to Jeremie, our tech guy) are RF engines that possess a 3 mile line of sight outdoor transmission range and 1000ft indoor transmission range (as opposed to Synapes, which is a synchronized swimming team formed from a family of larger primates). You’re probably thinking that XBee is a pretty great wireless communications system with lots of support, and you’d be right. Synapse Wireless is just as great, though, and has longer range at really affordable pricing. Plus, they were used for remotely controlling the costume lighting in Tron Legacy, which adds, like, at least 50 cool points.
One of the problems of using Synapse Wireless modules, however, is that they don’t quite have the catalogue of accessories and add-ons (like XBee modules have) to make them easy to use. Well, you’re in luck – Solarbotics is here to make them more usable and accessible with two new kits and some documentation to match. If you’re more of a visual person, check out this three part video for a rundown of what these modules are, how they work, and what you can do with them:
“That looks cool,” you proclaim, “but I need some kinda step-by step written documentation so that I can follow along at my own speed.” Well, we got you covered. Here are two helpful tutorials we wrote up to help you :
- Steps for Wirelessly Programming an Arduino (pdf)
- Getting Around the Optiboot Bootloader (pdf)
- Snappyscripts for Wirelessly Programming the UNO (sample code, for use with Arduino1, will not work with Arduino-0022)
|Solarbotics Synapse-to-FTDI Adapter Kit
Want a board that can breakout the Synapse RF module pins, gives you a USB port/FTDI chip to program, supplies it with a regulated 3.3V, integrates a reset switch (for updating & erasing), and also gives you mounting options? Well the Solarbotics Synapse-to-FTDI Adapter Kit can do it all.
|Solarbotics Synapse-XBee Adapter Kit
If you want to use Synapse modules in an XBee application, this will let you adapt it to work. With a few extra parts, you can even go back the other way (Xbee modules for Synapse setups).
We have a full run-down of all the Synapse items we carry, along with most of the information in this post, which can be found right here.But wait, THERE’S MORE. Well, completely unrelated, but more nonetheless. We’re doing a bit of very late spring cleaning (or very early, depending on how you want to look at it), and it turns out we have a few items that we’d like to clear out of our inventory. Today we’re starting off with the following LCD modules and accessories from Matrix Orbital:
- LK202-24-USB-R USB LCD Module
- LK202-25 Serial LCD Module
- LK204-25-GW-VPT Serial LCD Module
- MX-212 USB Drive Bay Kit USB-WB-BK
- LK202-25-WB Serial LCD Module
- Black 15-Button Keypad Overlay
- MK2021-AL Mounting Kit for 20×2 LCD – Brushed Aluminum
We’ll keep putting items on discount over the next week, so keep an eye on the Clearance category. That’s it for now. Keep in mind that we’ll be closed to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving on October 10th. It’s still just over a week away, so we’ll give you another heads-up next week.